WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced a resolution designating this week as “Religious Education Week” to celebrate and emphasize the importance of religious education and the schools and organizations engaged in religious instruction.
“South Carolina’s children are our greatest resource and future leaders,” said Graham. “I am proud to introduce this resolution to emphasize the importance of continued religious education and the organizations who provide it.”
The resolution is cosponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), and Todd Young (R-Indiana).
Organizations in support of the resolution include Agudath Israel of America, Alliance Defending Freedom, American Association of Christian Schools, Association of Christian Schools International, The Catholic Association, Catholics Count, Catholic Education Partners Inc., The Christian Coalition, Christian Legal Society, Coalition for Jewish Values, EdChoice, #EDTaxCredit50, Family Research Council, Foundation for American Christian Education, Invest in Education, Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty, North American Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and School Time Bible Ministries.
The full text of the resolution is attached.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:
Grayson Hartgrove, Director of School Time Bible Ministries in Columbia, SC:
“We support and applaud the U.S. Senate effort to pass a U.S. Senate Resolution on Religious Education Week. Parents of public-school students want the option of providing faith-based programming during the public-school day. The legal practice, known as Released Time for Religious Education was started in 1914 by a school superintendent. He knew the importance of parents having options in directing the upbringing of their children. Currently over 13,000 public school students with parental permission in South Carolina leave campus every week for a faith-based class off campus at a church or non-school building. The number of students participating continues to grow as more parents learn of this option.”
Rabbi Lerner, President of the Coalition for Jewish Values:
"Judaism places the education of our children at the center of religious practice. We are happy to endorse this resolution, which underscores the intrinsic connection between religious education and the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the Constitution, and celebrates religious schooling as a method of civic and moral development."
Travis Weber, Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council:
“Religious education and the rights of parents to oversee that their children are taught according to the tenets of their faith are as important now as they have ever been. At this point in our nation’s history, Christian parents must be especially vigilant to ensure their children are taught according to a biblical worldview. This resolution is a welcome encouragement toward that end.”
Roberta Combs, CEO and President of the Christian Coalition:
“We thank Senator Graham for his efforts to commemorate the importance of religious education in addition to affirming the right to practice and teach religion in the United States. Religious education provides a foundation towards a life of faith and we embrace this opportunity to cement its significance.”